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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

FONTANELLA, Bruno Jose Barcellos et al. Sampling in qualitative research: a proposal for procedures to detect theoretical saturation. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.2, pp. 388-394. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2011000200020.

A qualitative study's methodological transparency is considered a key factor for achieving its reliability and should be guaranteed by the researchers. Closing the sampling process by saturation is a common approach, but it is rarely made explicit in research reports. Qualitative researchers also commonly experience technical difficulties in objectively identifying saturation. This article proposes a method to organize sample closing by saturation, with a sequence of eight procedural steps for treating and analyzing data collected through open or semi-structured interviews or focus groups. The article aims to help researchers objectively explain how and when saturation occurred and to allow their readers to know how this process occurred.

Keywords : Sampling Studies; Sample Size; Qualitative Research; Methods.

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